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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tis the season...

Well it is breeding time for the sheep.  Actually we just took the breeding groups apart, boys back with boys (more like boy back with boy) and all the girls back together.  We are hoping our little guy, Bourbon did his job.  He is just a lamb and didn't seem to take his job as seriously as Oatis.  But we've used ram lambs (boys under a year) before and they were just as productive.  In total we bred 7 ewes so will be expecting lots o' lambs in late March, early April.  Yes it is the season.

Bloom and Rachel

Little Bourbon, playing cute for the girls.

Bloom and Rachel working out their differences.

Handsome Oatis.

Oatis' ladies.  He's a bit controlling and won't let them come up to me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

Busy, busy times on this farm.  A long while back I did a post on all the good things that come from sheep.  One of those things was the great fertilizer they provide.  From that great compost comes a great garden (would be better if I could just keep out the moles!).  We are harvesting (when I say "we" I think I mean "I") and storing away all sorts of goodies this time of year.  Busy little squirrels.  The weather is hot and very dry.  I am longing for cooler times, brisk nights and some moisture. And, of course, more time at the spinning wheel.




 Here are the Tarahumara Sunflowers I planted. They are saluting the morning sun.  I am growing them for the bees and as they ripen, the sheep will get a nice treat.


Here are a few bees enjoying the sunflower's pollen.
 
 Big leaf greens in the garden; collard and kale.  I am having fun with pickling them.  A tangy salty treat that is ooooh so good for you.


For a couple days we had some smoke pour in from the fires in northern California.  It made for some interesting evening light. Those are the pictures that follow.
Our barn and very brown pasture.




And just so you don't forget the sheep....here is Athena.  She is growing up nicely, don't you think?  She has a very soft fleece.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baack from Black Sheep

We are back from another wonderful Black Sheep Gathering.  As we get to know more and more people in the fiber world the time spent there seems to go by faster and faster (I'm hoping this phenomenon is not a product of age!).  Can't believe it is over but I sure am exausted.

The sheep are happy to be back as well (they were getting pretty cranky that last day).  Thought I'd post a few up to date pictures of our young ones.  Amazing how they grow up. 
This is Bloom, sister to Simbaa (see sale page), auntie to Harissa

Harissa, the loud little girl born with about an inch and a half of fleece!  She is the daughter of Simbaa (see sale page)
Griffin, one of our ram lambs

Oatis, our yearling ram.  I LOVE his fleece.

Last but certainly not least, Athena.  Wow she is maturing!  Still cute as a button.
OH AND if anyone "needs" spinning fiber, I still have big bags of Shetland top in an array of Shetland colors!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tradegy And Joy...

Freyja hovering over her baby
....Those are the feelings you experience with the birth of a lamb and the loss of the ewe.   Little Athena was born on day 140 following her conception, a bit on the early side for a first time lambing ewe.  She had a sister but unfortunately she never took her first breath, too early for her underdeveloped lungs I guess.  We were not expecting lambs this early.  I discovered the little one before bed, all dried off and fed.  Freyja did a wonderful job.  I put them in their own pen and all seemed good.  The next day they both seemed perky and healthy.  The only concern I had was that Freyja had not fully expelled the placenta, it remained hanging off her hind end.  I consulted the vet, not to worry until it had been another couple days.  The following day, two days after Athena's birth, Freyja was getting some odd symptoms.  Several times that day I consulted the vet and treated her with what seemed appropriate.  She did not improve.   By that evening she was dead, leaving this little infant in our hands.
     What amazes me about Freyja was that she was so very stoic when I imagine she must have been in tremendous pain.  My suspicion was she had a twisted intestine.  She stayed alert and caring for her baby up until the very end, with no sign of weakness.  It was hard to tell anything was wrong. Our last moment with her before she died (Tom and I both witnessed her last breath) was her lying peacefully with her little one curled right beside her.  It was like she was waiting for us to come to the barn to take her little one so she could go; that her baby would be cared for.  How could a mother be more loving of her baby than that? 

Freyja 3/23/2012-3/30/2014
Freyja leaves a big hole in our life but her baby is doing her best to fill it.  She is a spunky, healthy little gal;  full of life.  I promise to do my best to take good care of her as her mother would have wanted.


McTavish Farm Athena




Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring Fever

 Like it is for all of us, spring is a happy time for sheep.  Temperatures are warming, grass is growing and it's time to get out of the barn and into the pasture.  These pictures were taken this morning when I put the gals out on a paddock for a little green grass.  As you can see....They are HAPPY!
Check out the "Texas kicker" maneuver!

Tsumi and Jack go at it.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Add a Little Sunshine....

.......after a nice rain, of course, and we have green and food!  Our weather has been a bit wacko lately, torrential rains for the past week and it wasn't even October (we set a record for amount of rain this September).  Don't think I have ever seen it rain so hard except when I was in the rainforest of the Yucatan.  But now with the sunshine and warmth we have some grass growth.  The sheep are happy about that.  I guess it would be like us having to eat freeze dried food for a week then being introduced to a big buffet table of freshly prepared dishes.  We would go crazy too.  I took some pictures with our new camera (what a joy to have the picture click at the exact moment I take the picture!) and of course the sheep were so engrossed in eating it took shaking the earth to get them to look up.  But here's what I got.
This is Miss Cleo, one of the young ones.  She gets the "Miss Autumn" award for her color coordination.

Clancy the "playboy" escaping the camera.  He hates to have his picture taken;  I was lucky to catch him here.

Katrina who never has a bad hair day!

Our boomerang sheep Mali, a return to our flock after being sold as a lamb.  We are very lucky to have her back;  fleece is stunning!

The little Gottie babies just had their first haircut.  They are really happy to have sun.

Shebaa and her lovely fleece.  Interesting she was very light in color, almost white.  Now at age 4 her fleece is coming in much darker.  I like it!

Close up of Shebaa's fleece.

A sheep gang!

Leitzel, one of our choices for breeding this year. 
For those in need of spinning material I still have plenty of Shetland top for sale.  Check out the sale page.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Grape Love

Digging into the pile of spent grapes
 Today was grape juice day.  It was meant to be grape juice morning but then soon turned into a grape juice day.  Now I am even looking at making more juice tomorrow!  Lots of grapes and not enough sterile jars.  Oh well, we will be stocked and I do love grape juice.

Appears that my sheep love grapes as well.  I was putting my grape refuse from the juice in the compost but then got the brilliant idea that maybe the sheep might like all those skins, stems and seeds.  And sure enough.....They LOVE grapes!
Here is a real grape hog! That would be Sushi sheep of course
At least she kept it off her pretty white fleece.
Reese says "yummy!"